Democracy

On the Supreme Court, difficult nominations have led to historical injustices

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Far from being unusual, the hurried and partisan Supreme Court confirmation process for Brett Kavanaugh mirrors several notable examples of similarly politicized confirmations in U.S. history. Calvin Schermerhorn The Conversation Those conflicts, which ultimately placed justices on the court, yielded some of the most damaging civil rights decisions in our nation’s history. Unlike any other branch of government, Supreme Court justices do not have to face voters at the polls. They have no term limits. Yet the high court is ... Read More »

The German Government’s Shameful Kowtow Before Erdogan

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In welcoming Turkey’s presidential dictator for a state visit, the EU’s largest member nation is exploring the limits of self-humiliation. A working visit would be quite enough. Benedict Neff The Globalist On September 28th and 29th, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be honored by the German government with a state visit to Berlin. To give such an honor to a man who is relentlessly snuffing out the remaining elements of freedom in his own country is a big mistake. ... Read More »

How Alliances Made Athens Great

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The ancient Athenians manipulated their allies, spreading democracy and providing protection, always with their own interests first. Trump could learn something. Nikos Konstandaras The New York Times ATHENS — In his declared intention to “Make America Great Again,” President Trump appears set on destroying the foundations of American greatness. The multinational organizations and agreements that established peace and stability, and encouraged economic growth for some seven decades, were designed principally by Americans. They organized the world pretty much the way that ... Read More »

The ‘political cult’ opposing the Iranian regime which has created a state within a state in Albania

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In Tirana, Borzou Daragahi meets defectors of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran, a controversial group which has found itself the darling of Washington Independent An Iranian exile group that is a darling of Washington conservatives has set up what critics describe as “a state within a state” inside the tiny Balkan nation of Albania. From a well-guarded 84-acre (340,000 square metres, or 34 hectares) property it has forged on a hillside in the Albanian countryside, the group – called the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran, commonly ... Read More »

Assange steps down as editor of Wikileaks

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Julian Assange has stepped down as editor of WikiLeaks as he continues to be denied access to the internet and other forms of communications. Alan Jones, Associated Press Herald Sun Assange, who has been living inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London for over six years, will continue as publisher. The Ecuador Government decided over six months ago to cut off his communications and limit visits to members of his legal team. He will be replaced as editor by Kristinn Hrafnsson, ... Read More »

Students studying overseas could be helping to make former Soviet countries more liberal

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Society is defined by mobility. Crossing borders involves acquiring new knowledge, being exposed to new ideas and ways of thinking. People move for a variety of reasons – and education is one of them. Maia Chankseliani The Conversation International students come from diverse backgrounds. And prior to travelling away from home for university, students may have been exposed to a limited set of ideas on social and political issues. Universities in many countries nurture open political communities. Interactions at universities ... Read More »

A Small Nation That Thinks It’s a World Power

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Brexit emerged from its supporters’ nostalgia for a supposedly glorious past. Gary Younge The Nation “There are two kinds of European nations,” said Kristian Jensen, the Danish finance minister, last year. “There are small nations, and there are countries that have not yet realized they are small nations.” With Brexit, it’s become painfully obvious that the United Kingdom is among the latter. In their melancholic yearning for a time long past, those who ran the campaign to leave the European ... Read More »

Remarks by Donald Tusk to the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly

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The European Union is fighting intensely to preserve the rules-based international order, which is currently under great strain, in terms of trade, security, climate change or human rights. Donald Tusk Voltaire We say this not only as countries strongly supporting the United Nations, but as a continent that cares deeply about respect, mutual understanding and solidarity between nations. As leaders, we must equip the United Nations with the means to fulfil its mandate successfully. More unity and collective action are ... Read More »

‘They fricken hate her’: Full Emma Alberici email shows Justin Milne was not taken out of context

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The full text of an email sent by former ABC chairman Justin Milne about journalist Emma Alberici reveals he wanted the high-profile presenter sacked because she was “sticking it” to the government with a “clear bias”. Michael Koziol & Jennifer Duke The Sydney Morning Herald Mr Milne, who resigned as chairman of the public broadcaster on Thursday, complained in an ABC interview that his email to former managing director Michelle Guthrie was presented “out of context” when Fairfax Media broke ... Read More »

Brussels rolls out red carpet for Jeremy Corbyn

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The Labour leader met with chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and Secretary-General Martin Selmayr. By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN Politico It was the European Commission’s own vote of no-confidence in Theresa May. Top EU officials rolled out the red carpet for Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn on Thursday, welcoming May’s arch-rival to the Commission headquarters and giving him a platform at a… Corbyn, who has criticized May and her Conservative Party for mismanaging Brexit, has yet to unveil a credible departure plan of ... Read More »

Gaven Morris: ABC’s independence is our most precious asset

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Today, the Australian public has asked to be reassured that the ABC’s independence is protected. It has been and it always will be. By Director of News, Analysis and Investigations Gaven Morris ABC Australia’s public broadcaster acts only in the interests of the Australian public and our independence is our most precious asset. How does management protect independence? The current furore raises very important questions about what the ABC’s legislated independence means and how its management, editorial leaders, journalists and ... Read More »

Scott Morrison claims Indigenous voice to parliament would be a third chamber

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Prime minister tells Radio National Uluru proposal ‘really is’ a third chamber and must be rejected Paul Karp The Guardian Scott Morrison has rejected the Uluru statement’s call for an Indigenous voice to parliament by claiming that the body would constitute a “third chamber”, a characterisation… In an interview on Radio National on Wednesday the new prime minister signalled there would be no change of policy since Malcolm Turnbull rejected the voice, and even walked back… Asked about the voice ... Read More »

Don’t Leave Immigration Out of Our Environmental Laws

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In 2016, for the first time in decades, immigration control took center stage in a populist election. The last few years have been an era of polarization, not only between Republican and Democratic partisans, but between populism and… Julie Axelrod Center for Immigration Studies Those who care about the environment have been lining up on the opposite side of the partisan divide from those who care about immigration control. This divide has been as unfortunate as it is misguided: The ... Read More »

The United Nations has entered its darkest hour

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If the United Nations were a stock or an index fund, you might want to short it. Founded in 1945 to “maintain international peace and security,” the UN in recent years has been powerless to stop slaughter in Syria, Yemen and Myanmar. James Gibney Brisbane Times Bloomberg Civil conflicts are nearing post-Cold War highs. The number of displaced people has hit a new record. After decades of improvement, more of the… The gap between what the UN seeks and receives ... Read More »

Influence in Australian politics needs an urgent overhaul – here’s how to do it

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Public policy should be made for all Australians – not just those with the resources or connections to lobby and influence politicians. And mostly it is. Authors: The Conversation But sometimes bad policy is made or good policy is dropped because powerful groups have more say and sway than they should. Australia’s political institutions are generally robust, but many of the “risk factors” for policy capture by special interests are present in our system. Political parties are heavily reliant on ... Read More »

60 Minutes: ‘A catastrophic loss of faith in democracy’

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“Why do so many Prime Ministers get replaced?” The question posed by a primary school student from Sydney’s western suburbs on a visit to Parliament House tested his local MP. Chris Uhlmann 9news And since Malcolm Turnbull was deposed at Australia’s 29th Prime Minister, just a month ago, there has been no answer to why the fourth leader in a decade has been cut down by his own party. But here’s something we do know. There has been a catastrophic ... Read More »